Monday, August 15, 2011

Extra Credit: Cory Doctorow

In case you missed it, you should know that we're giving away 2 copies of Cory Doctorow's new book which is available on our Espresso Book Machine!

For those of you who want to double their luck, we have an extra credit question for you to answer. If you get the answer right, we'll enter you in the drawing twice! Leave your comment here or on the first post and make sure to include your email address for us to contact you. Contest ends at 10am PST on Wednesday 8/17.

Extra Credit Question:

In a pdf version of one of his books, Cory dedicates a chapter to our bookstore and, specifically, our stellar Sci-Fi/Fantasy Buyer, Duane Wilkins.

Cory says: "This scene is dedicated to the University Bookstore at the University of Washington, whose science fiction section rivals many specialty stores, thanks to the sharp-eyed, dedicated science fiction buyer, Duane Wilkins...."

In which book does he give this dedication?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cory Doctorow!

You have to get your hands on Cory Doctorow's new DIY publishing project!

Cory has ingeniously embarked on a self publishing adventure for his new book, With a Little Help. With a Little Help is a collection of stories that are available instantly (and in book format) through a handful of Espresso Book Machines, including ours. You choose 1 of 4 different covers. We print it for you. You read it. If you find any typos you can email Cory and he'll update the next printed copy with the typo fix and your name in the footnotes. Imagine that!

We are so excited to be part of this project that we want to give away a few books. Leave a comment here telling us about the last book you read and we'll enter you to win a copy of With a Little Help. Don't forget to put your email address in the comment so we can contact you. Enter by Wednesday 8/17 at 10am PST.

You can see all the covers and order the books here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Girls Rock!

One constant that is almost always guaranteed to pull me into a book is a kick-a.. heroine. I love the portrayal of remarkable women in fiction. And to be a kick-a.. girl you don't have to be totally together all the time; in fact I find that the girls who figure things out as they go are much more interesting. Yeah, the messier the better! Remember tortured Temple in the Reapers are the Angels? (A book by Alden Bell that I gave a nod to in an earlier post). T-T rocks as a kick-a.. heroine! Because even as she can't give herself a break, she is still a force of good in the dystopian world that she inhabits.

So it probably won't surprise you to find that I have found a few new heroines to write about.

N.K. Jemisin's first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, might never have been written if she had listened to the advice of others, and not entered into the seemingly male-dominated scifi/fantasy genre (according to a Kelly Link interview.) But now we have Yeine Darr, deemed barbarian and outcast by the court city of Sky. Yeine, daughter first, who is still grieving the loss of her mother, granddaughter second to a cold and calculating King who would make her his pawn.Yeine who quickly falls in with the childlike god Sieh, eventually ignites the passions of the brooding and dangerously mysterious nightlord Nahadoth, and then proves divisive to the rest of the gods. I nominate Yeine as an up-and-comer in the kick-a.. heroine category, and it appears that I am not alone in this nod because Ms. Jemisin received the 2011 Locus Award for Best First Novel! Hoorah! I am looking forward to reading great fictions by N.K. Jemisin.

Next on my reading list is Girls Kick Butt, a collection of short fiction from a variety of different female scifi/fantasy authors filled with kick-a.. characters. I like collections of this kind, centered around genre and theme: it is a really great way to get introduced to new writers, ones that you haven't read before, along with seeing what the oldies but goodies are up to these days.

Take Jenna Black's protagonist exorcist Morgan Kingsley, in Nine-Tenths of the Law, reluctant to take on a paying client who may want to terminate her own daughter using the excuse that a demon has taken possession of her, as a powerplay. How might Morgan be kick-a.. heroine? Well as I see it, she pushes past the lure of fast cash to try to get to the truth of the matter, holding the desire for the highest good for all in her heart even if that reality seems to be orchestrated by a demon possessed teenager. And then there's Red in  Elizabeth A. Vaugh's short story. Red rocks it as a fighter, a rebel with a cause, she is duty-bound to freeing all slaves, even the ones that walk on four feet. But that's enough of a spoiler.

Go on, read the rest of this collection with me and let me know what you think. Duane, our scifi/fantasy guru, told me that Jeanna Black's protagonist has walked the pages of fiction already, but I didn't know that. I am coming in with a beginner's mind and report to you in that way.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dog Days of Summer!

August is here, and something not unlike Summer has come at last to Seattle.  Huzzah!  No one is suggesting that this glorious weather will last.  Can't count on scorchin' temperatures in the high seventies every day of the week, people.  But for now though, the flip-flops, the cargo-shorts, the general pale shirtlessness and or tanktops, to say nothing of the beery block-parties all over the city last night?  Totally justified by the glorious sunshine.


And for our canine companions, please remember, summer need not be just the usual routine of Frisbee in the park, stagnant, standing water, and panting boredom on the hot sidewalk while someone gets a single serving of green tea gelato that will not be shared.  Oh no.

All this month, right here at the always-dog-friendly University Book Store, we will be hosting a new series of public readings for dogs and their grown up humans, every Saturday at 6PM.  Dog Days will feature classic and contemporary short stories on four-footed subjects, read by our own booksellers, right here in the store's event space on the second floor.  Dogs, of course will be welcome as always.

To get things started, this Saturday, the 6th, our own Usedbuyer2.0, Brad, will be reading a story from the great P. G. Wodehouse, and a classic reminiscence by the Scots essayist, physician, and lifelong friend to nearly all dogs, Dr. John Brown Rab & His Friends -- that's old Rab is pictured above -- is a remarkable, heartbreaking tale of perfect loyalty, endurance and love.  (Which explains, I think, the need for something from Wodehouse on the bill as well, for balance.)

Do please join us, and bring your human.  We don't mind, so long as they're quiet and well behaved.

Sit.  Stay.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

We're the Geekiest

I don't know if, at this point in history, any credit could yet accrue to our own fantabulous Duane, but in the late '70s the bookstore was already a bastion of Sci-Fi goodness, according to Rainn Wilson, who haunted our aisles as a nerdy suburban youth. Although I'm biased, I have to say that the quality remains: a carefully curated, broad selection of the best of new and old (subject of course to the curse of out of print, which leaves vast gaps in classic science fiction that can only occasionally be filled).  Duane's love for his subject is never hard to see, and his section reflects it wonderfully.   Check it out!


tell all your friends!